Jamaica Looks to Boost BPO Readiness with New Training Alliance

By Narayan Ammachchi

Jamaica’s outsourcing industry lobby group (BPIAJ) has teamed up with the country’s National Training Agency (NTA) to build what is hoped to be a pioneering program to increase the readiness of the   BPO worker population. 

Both entities will collaborate to device a vocational training program that will equip youths with skills required to work with outsourcing service firms, including call centers.

Jamaica’s announcement comes barely weeks after Colombia unveiled a program to train more than a thousand graduates in agile software development.

“Jamaica has a huge potential in business process outsourcing (BPO),” stated Phillip Paulwell, country’s Minister of Science & Technology, after the signing of the agreement.

The minister, however, conceded that his country’s BPO sector has not grown to its real potential. It is, however, true that Jamaica has emerged as the leading contact center location in the English-speaking Caribbean with over 10,000 full time agents in the offshore business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

“What I am determined to do this time around is to ensure that rather than just a Minister going out crusading, we really try to build an effective partnership.  It is partnership that is going to enable Jamaicans and this country to move forward, especially in relation to some of the new areas and industries,” he stated.

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Several ministries, including Finance, Industry and Education, will play their roles in the training program.

The skill training will turn out to be a key to success of the outsourcing industry in Jamaica, stated Yoni Epstein, President of BPIAJ.

Most part of the training program will focus on training agents for call centers. The BPO sector in Jamaica comprises more than 25 companies performing a range of services, including finance & accounts, tech support and customer service.

The Caribbean country has been recognized by Gartner as a destination to watch and by A.T. Kearney as a favorable BPO destination.